Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The best revenge

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Warning for profanity. I apologise to the Gentle Readers, but if I am not taking to strong liquor, it seems I have to resort to strong language.


The amazing, amazing thing is that after about nine thousand milligrams of Vitamin C, fistfuls of Echinacea, rivers of ginger tea, vats of chicken soup, and a stern talking to myself (Come on, you are a British woman, you cannot succumb to snot), I seem to be vanquishing the cold. I am still honking like a cross old goose who forgot to migrate, but the symptoms are easing rather than getting worse. I put it down to the kindness of the Dear Readers.

On the emotional front: still buffeted by waves of fury, disbelief, impotence.

I know the unemployment numbers are out, and there is much news in the world of the worsening economic situation. I know I should be thinking of those things and not dwelling on my own little personal three act tragedy. As I always tell myself, there are worse things happening in Chad. I am at that stage where I am in a frenzy of counting my blessings: look, look, I have a roof over my head, and food, and clean water, and fingers. (I always think of fingers, because I really don’t know what I would do if I could not type.)

It’s such a dull and labyrinthine story that I cannot bore you with it, but let us just say that someone has done me and mine egregious wrong.

So what do you do in that situation? Sometimes, people behave so badly that your jaw drops open and you start mouthing like a goldfish, as if you were in an episode of Tom and Jerry. And when you are done, shouting and swearing, using all the very worst words you can think of, yelling into vacancy, you are just left with the thing.

It’s not what I needed now.

So then I think: well, if you are the person who has done the astonishingly awful thing, and you have got away with it, you still have to be that person. Your lying and dissembling and cheating may have had a logistical result, but you still have to face yourself in the glass each morning. So maybe you don’t get away with it altogether.

And I, well, I get to choose. I can rant and moan and act like a victim, or I can live well. Because as I keep saying, over and over, living well is the best revenge.

So, today, I did my work. I had a visit from the Younger Niece, which is always a tonic for the soul. I saw my lovely step-niece, who, it turns out is having another baby. (New life; new life. Another little great niece or nephew. I said to her: oh that is so perfect, because you really do make the best small people.)

I made soup. I planted some heather and some white marjoram and more box, because you can’t have too much box. I bashed them into the earth, as if racing against the clock, because the growing season really is over, but I could not resist. I dug and dug, down on my knees, in the mud, yanking at recalcitrant roots, pulling out stones, making the holes lovely and loose and welcoming for the dear plants. I put in the compost and the plant food and tenderly settled the things in, and now there are objects of beauty where there were none. My hands and knees were covered in earth by the end, and I felt the sense of holiness that the good earth can bring.

I wrote this.

I thought of ideas for new books. Because there must always be new books.

Maybe this is the thing: this is my year for getting battered. The blows are hard, but they are not knock-outs. They are not going to keep me down on the canvas. They are not going to leave me sagging on the ropes. I’ve got tougher stuff in me than that. I’ve got The Pigeon and the Hill and this place and an enquiring mind. And my fingers. So that I may go on typing things like: fuck the fucking fuckers and the fucking horses they rode in on.


Pictures of the day:

The new heathers and marjoram and box:

14 Sept 1

14 Sept 2

14 Sept 3.ORF

14 Sept 4

14 Sept 5

14 Sept 6

The old cyclamen, still going like gangbusters:

14 Sept 7

Hydrangea, with geranium leaves in foreground:

14 Sept 8

Catmint flowers:

14 Sept 9

Oldest hydrangea, now a most gracious old lady:

14 Sept 9.ORF

More mint:

14 Sept 9-1

More hydrangea. There was a whole thing on the internet last week of Madonna caught on camera accepting one from a fan, and then turning to her left and saying how she loathes hydrangeas. How could one loathe this?:

14 Sept 10

Tiny little geranium:

14 Sept 11

Autumnal still lives:

14 Sept 12

14 Sept 14

Beautiful green stuff:

14 Sept 13

And really, how could I ever complain when I have this to gaze on?:

14 Sept 19

14 Sept 20

14 Sept 21

And the light on the hill, which tonight was quite sublime:

14 Sept 23

PS. Just re-read this, and realise I have waded deep into the Weeds of Overshare. Too tired now to change it. Please forgive. Tomorrow shall be dancing girls and pom-poms, I promise.


  1. Don't really have a comment...just wanted to let you know I was laughing. ;-) Hope you're feeling better.

  2. I love this post. Genuine love.

    I am so glad to hear you wont be beaten. Living well really is the best revenge - I'm finally learning that.

    And as for the end of this post. Yes. Just yes.

    This really did make me smile.

  3. Don't apologize. Please!

    Living well IS the best revenge.

    (However, I am most certainly NOT one to talk, having spent far too much of the past three years or so immersed in revenge fantasies -- and a few "realities". Bottom line: despite a momentary "so there!" feeling, the greatest damage done, I NOW know, is to oneself. Just saying!)

    Pom-poms, you say? Intriguing!

    Word verification:"thypt" Sounds like an arrow thwacking into its intended target....

  4. Hooray. You have your fighting spirit back and your boxing gloves on. Definitely a sign that you are feeling better.

    The fffers will get theirs in the end, and between now and then, they will have to look at their horrid selves in the mirror each and every morning. Time wounds all heels.

    take care.

  5. Fricatives are so soothing :)

  6. Some practical suggestions to clear sinus cavities:
    In an open saucepan, steam camomile (Matricaria chamomilla) blossoms, throw a towel over your head & the steam and inhale;
    Hold your head in your hands with your fingertips firmly (but gently) pressing along your cheekbones...for about five minutes a time;
    Get a "neti pot", available in pharmacies (and some health food stores). It's a plastic, ceramic or metal container -- which looks a bit like Aladdin's magic lamp or a squat watering can. You fill it with a saline solution, lean over the sink, gently place the spout in one nostril & "wash" your sinuses. (Then repeat on other side.) It sounds gross (& looks pretty weird too), however, it really works. When I finally found out about this (through my young niece-in-law) & eagerly went to tell friends, half of them were already using it.
    And, remember that saying: "starve a fever and feed a cold". I think that translates to homemade chicken soup.
    Get well soon!

  7. I often think just that - even if one cannot punish the person, even if one cannot make them SEE and FEEL how they have done wrong, one can at least have the satisfaction of knowing that they are themselves, while one is oneself; and the latter is certainly preferable.

    But it can be slightly cold comfort when what one really wants to do is punch them.

    As an aside, I think your computer has perhaps autocorrected 'hyacinth' for 'hydrangea'.

  8. This has so many wonderful bits of hilarity. Though I know nothing about the ffs, I'll cast an evil eye in their general direction (are they north, south, east or west of London?) xx

  9. my personal revenge fantasy is to poo into an envelop and post it to the person in question - i stress that this is a fantasy! however, i have gone so far as to discuss this with my husband (he tolerates my bouts of ire) and we have even gone so far as to discuss the DNA implications and likelihood of detection. this in turn leads to a conversation about getting non-family members to defecate into said (reinforced) envelops to avoid things like the prison ships, and then of course the whole fantasy collapses, because how could you possibly introduce that into a conversation with your, say, postman?! but you know, at least i've thought it thru! and it generally distracts me until i can stop smarting and move on into more serene thoughts.

    i do hope it sorts itself out, or at very least that you continue to handle it with aplomb, dash & verve!

    love your blog btw.

  10. What incredibly kind and cheering comments. Thank you. :)

  11. My husband, when swearing roundly, has his "fuckers" riding in (and out again) on pigs. Gives them less dignity, somehow, than your horses. They don't deserve horses.

    Can recommend.

  12. "And the pigs they rode in on."

    EXCELLENT adaptation. I shall use it in future.


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